Video hosting online has been greatly simplified thanks to sites like YouTube and Vimeo. Companies and brands can now be brought to life with engaging moving content in a way not even possible five years ago.
And with emerging digital tools including email, Twitter, Linkedin and blogs, finding an audience that will view, like and in turn share your content is easier as well.
Hence the explosion in online video. It is estimated that 24 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every second of the day and that billions of videos are watched every day.
Why use it for b2b?
YouTube is now a search engine in its own right. Video search is accounting for more and more of online search, with some commentators putting the figure as high as 50%. This makes profiles on sites like YouTube and Vimeo an essential part of your digital strategy. Call it social media optimization – where you use social media and file sharing sites to post content and boost your search engine optimization.
Consider using video if you have a compelling story to tell and the written word just doesn’t cut it. Or, if you need to deliver key messages in a more informative, engaging format. Or, if you actively want content to go viral.
The added attraction of online hosted video is that if it hits any of these buttons, the available options to browsers are huge – from embedding it another web page to tweeting, emailing and posting links all over the Internet.
But, don’t look to video if it is a one-off project, if you don’t like being in front of the camera, or if you don’t want to risk the video’s popularity running away with itself.
How to get started?
This isn’t a post about the mechanics of creating a video. For that, I recommend you visit the excellent Social Media Examiner site and this video blogging post in particular. That will set you off down the path with the right equipment, shooting and editing, together with some guidance and further reading on uploading and sharing elements.
Instead, this post concentrates on the why, how to get started and the sorts of content that you might consider as a b2b marketer.
As a starting point, register accounts with both YouTube and Vimeo. Aim to reserve the same profile names as other online and social media platforms as this makes it much easier to integrate and for people to remember you. Once this is done, you will own those profile names.
The challenge is then to either repackage and reformat what you have, or create new content. On the repackaging side, consider existing video material, animations and presentations that are already available within your business. Could these be edited, captioned and set to music or a commentary and uploaded as new content? Are there opportunites to refocus existing blog articles, press articles, conference presentations into bite-size ‘how to’ videos?
Some ways you could effectively use video to build interest in what you do include
- Hosting conference presentations
- Trade show highlights (whether it involves you, customers or the media)
- Providing customer testimonials
- Delivering relevant industry and expert interviews
- Introducing key staff with video profiles
- Video blogging
- Video ‘how to’ guides
- Product demonstrations
- Corporate video
I’ve deliberately relegated ‘the usual stuff’ to the bottom of the list, which isn’t exclusive. Above all, have some fun. If your video is contrived, it will look contrived.
It’s consumer but kitchen blenders are perhaps one of the dullest appliances in the home. But, not if it’s a Blendtec. Sales have increased 500% as a result of their innovative ‘will it blend’ site and promotional videos which have seen anything from phones to ipods and golf balls to shovels tested in their blenders.
Blendtec’s YouTube account hosts 103 short videos, has 344,000 followers and has been viewed over 6 million time on YouTube – with many millions more on aggregation!
Like all other content, approach video from the perspective that it will endure, it could go viral and it will represent your business in an exciting way.
Stylistically, try to avoid talking heads by mixing establishing shots with head shots and audio. Think about the two minute videos on the regional TV news. If there is lots of content, split it across several uploads.
And remember, you’re not making a Hollywood blockbuster. The best viral video is rough around the edges.
What examples of great video content have you created or found online?
Top image www.viralblog.com